Wednesday, May 27, 2009

News on Yahoo Tech

BillMyParents lets kids and parents bond over shopping

I've yet to determine if this idea is genius or nightmare, but I have to give it credit for trying something new.

Put simply, BillMyParents is a startup with the goal of making it easier to let your kids beg you to buy them stuff.

With BillMyParents, little Teddy doesn't need to copy the URL of a product he wants and email it to you, he can virtually purchase the item himself -- contingent on your approval.

The idea: Teddy goes to a website that has BillMyParents enabled, and instead of completing the shopping process normally, he hits a button that sends the item straight to mom or dad. Teddy can offer a justification for why he needs the product, alongside information (automatically filled in) about the price of the item and the store that's selling it.

If the parent approves, the transaction continues. Otherwise, the deal is canceled and the kid gets grounded for wasting dad's time.

I like the idea for two big reasons: It creates a paper trail for the things you buy your children -- so you'll know pretty quickly how much you're really spending on their "needs" -- and it forces the child to justify what he wants, in writing. Rather than letting your kids just whine in a personal audience in front of you, BillMyParents gives you a legitimate outlet to tell them to use to send you a formal request for whatever it is they want, and you'll be able to consider it on your own time. Whining averted.

BillMyParents hopes to partner with merchants to add its button to their shopping sites. But for now, the only place you can use BillMyParents is on the company's own website, where it operates an Amazon affiliate store.

Is this something you would use in your family? Check it out here.

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